Faculty Feature | The Winds of Change: Developments in Pension Law

We are looking forward to exploring pension law in Alberta, including recent legislative changes, on January 12, 2022 at our upcoming webinar, “The Winds of Change: Developments in Pension Law“.¬†Read on for details about our faculty for this informative program.

Chair: Rita M. Richardson, Richardson Law 

Few people in Alberta have Rita’s combination of expertise and she is frequently called upon to give educational seminars and presentations for lawyers, pension administrators, and consultants who participate in legal reform initiatives in this area. Clients have benefited from her pensions and benefits knowledge as well as her family law expertise. Rita also provides other lawyers and their clients with litigation and mediation support and is regularly called in as a subject-matter specialist in pensions and benefits in collaborative family law matters. See more…

Presenter: Sophia L. Blumin, Alberta Pensions Services Corporation 

Sophia is a graduate of Western Ontario’s Faculty of Law (1999) and was called to the Ontario bar in 2001. After varied practice from 2001‚Äď2008 (Thomson*Carswell,¬†Canadian Private Copying Collective,¬†The Manufacturers‚Äô Life Insurance Company, and¬†Ontario Realty Corporation)¬†she was later called to the Alberta bar in 2008. Following her Alberta bar call, she served as a pension policy advisor for Alberta Finance and Enterprise. Since 2009 (to present) she continues to serve as a pensions lawyer for Alberta Pensions Services Corporation.

Presenter: Pat Johnston, Pension Strategies Inc. 

Pat Johnston is an actuary with over 40 years of experience in the actuarial field.¬† He was worked with pension clients of all sizes in the private and public sector. Prior to setting up his own firm, Pension Strategies Inc. in 2003, he managed the Calgary office of an international consulting firm and was the consulting actuary for PSPP and ATRF.¬† As part of his varied work with Pension Strategies Inc., he stumbled onto the issue of family lawyers not understanding the true value of pension plans and relying on whatever bits and pieces of information they could obtain.¬† He was worked on improving pension understanding the in the family law practice for over 10 years. See more…¬†

Presenter: Natasha Martin, Alberta Teachers’ Retirement Fund Board 

After graduating from the University of Alberta, Faculty of Law in 2005, Natasha worked as an associate at Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP and later as legal counsel for the Government of Alberta. She then worked as a plan board manager for Alberta Pensions Services Corporation until 2019. Since 2019 (to present) Natasha continues to serve as legal counsel for the Alberta Teachers’ Retirement Fund Board. As Legal Counsel at ATRF, Natasha’s practice areas focus on procurement, commercial transactions, pension administration law, compliance, and governance. See more…

Presenter: Yolanda Van Wachem QC, Alberta Pensions Services Corporation 

Yolanda graduated from law school in 1983 and was called to the bar in 1984, following which she worked in private practice for 34 years in Edmonton with a primary focus on wills and estates and family law. She has appeared at all levels of court in Alberta and was a charter member of STEP (Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners). In 2017 she joined Alberta Pensions Services Corporation as Director of Legal services. She has served on a number of boards including Alberta Cancer Board’s Planned Giving, Alberta Craft Counsel, Alberta Hospital Edmonton Foundation, and CASA (Child and Adolescence Services Association) and has presented at past LESA programs and seminars for STEP.


Registration is open for The Winds of Change: Developments in Pension Law. Join us online on January 12, 2022.

Topics of focus will include:

  • Review of pension law in Alberta
  • Recent legislative changes
  • Common pension plans in Alberta and how pension plans typically operate, including plan-specific features or nuances
  • How actuaries value pension plans, particularly in the context of family law or wills and estates matters

Click here to register.

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